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How to setup LDOM redundancy for multiple Guest Domains connected to SAN

Posted on 2010-08-12
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Last Modified: 2013-12-21
I have a T5240 server with 2 fiber channel cards.  This server has two PCI buses, so I am looking into setting up two I/O domains -- one for each PCI bus.  I am confused on how to setup the FC cards and multipathing to support multiple guest domains.  If each I/O domain controls one FC card then I'm assuming multipathing can't be setup at the I/O domain level but I'm not sure it can be setup at the guest domain level either.  In addition, if there are multiple guest domains then I'm assuming I would need NPIV to be able to use the same FC cards for all the guest domains.  So how would this work?  Without NPIV would I need a separate set of FC cards for each guest domain?  
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Question by:macklinj
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Expert Comment

by:Rowley
ID: 33427326
In this case, your secondary i/o domain will also become a service domain once you create your vdiskserver service and share vdisk devices to other hosts. You multi-pathing software within the guest that is using resources from these services domains (your primary + i/o domain) will work out which devices are available.

Because only the service domains need to have control over your hba's - remember, you're creating vdiskserver services in each i/o domain - then any guests using these services only need to ever worry about the disk devices presented to them.

Any clearer?
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Author Comment

by:macklinj
ID: 33448956
Hi Rowley,

It's getting clearer.  I am working on setting this up so I may have an additional question in a couple of days.
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Author Comment

by:macklinj
ID: 33503423
The Sun Blue Print, "LDOMs I/O Best Practices", states "If the server’s two PCI buses are allocated to each of two I/O domains, however, two host bus adapters can be configured to provide access to external storage through two PCI Express slots via two I/O domains. Redundancy and resiliency can then be established in the guest domain with software mirroring such as that provided by Solaris Volume Manager software."  

Hence, multipathing cannot be done in the Guest domain.  I'm guessing when NPIV support is added to Solaris you will be able to do multipathing in the Guest domain.
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Accepted Solution

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macklinj earned 0 total points
ID: 33506372
From Octave Orgeron's "An Introduction to Logical Domains":

SAN storage has many benefits, including performance, reliability, and
portability among servers. Solaris 10 and above include support for SAN
connectivity. Although third-party drivers and FC HBAs may work on standalone
servers, they may not work with LDoms. This is also true with SAN
multi-pathing software. STMS (a.k.a. MPXIO) should be utilized. STMS can
only be utilized in a service domain that has direct access to the FC HBAs,
such as the primary domain. The SAN infrastructure and multi-pathing are
completely transparent to guest domains. This situation will change in the
future when FC HBAs can be virtualized using NPIV, which provides guest
domains with a virtualized FC HBA instance [3]. Here is an example of virtualizing
SAN storage.
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by:Rowley
ID: 33508669
Thanks for sharing, useful to know next time I'm asked to multipath within a guest.
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